7 Tips to Designing and Staging your first Airbnb

Hi Friends. You know me! Short and sweet. Let's get to it.

I've staged homes to sell as well as designed for vacation rentals. I also *try* to exclusively use vacation rentals when we travel so I've stayed in my fair share of Airbnbs. Here are a few tips to help you get started...

1. Focus on the Primary Bedroom. Think Spa-Like. Think Cozy. You want this to feel like a getaway right? Whoever's throwing down the money to visit, it most likely staying here. Make it comfortable. Make it cozy.

I've seen some Airbnb's post a picture of the bedroom as the primary photo for listings to draw people in.

2. Don't go cheap on linens. I can't stress this enough. There are whole blogs and data collections out there on the importance of this. Making sure they are soft and usually white (is the hospitality standard- shows clean) and most importantly can handle repeatedly washing. Both sheets and towels. See note 4 for more on this!

3. Leave space in your design. Remember they are bringing their own clothes and bags and you want them to have space to place their stuff down. Especially in the bathroom. Less is more. I will intentionally leave space in the rooms for luggage (Benches or a classic luggage rack) and counter space or shelving in the bathrooms for any toiletries.

4.Purchase items that are easy to clean. Think through EVERY purchase (it's not like your items that get used once. These will be used repeatedly and need to withstand a good cleaning like sheets. You probably don't wash your own every 3 days am I right? )

White sheets say clean and are easy to spot clean.

Wooden dining chairs, easy to wipe down in kitchens.

Even remembering small floor rugs that can be vacuumed often or washed is great.

5. Equip the kitchen space. I stayed at one Airbnb, arrived late and brought a bottle of wine only to find out the kitchen had no wine opener and the store was 30+ min drive away. As the guest, so frustrating! After a long day of travel, you want them to be able to rest, relax and unwind.

And that typically involved some kind of food or drink. Make it easy for them. Glasses, silverware, and plates should be a given but go beyond that and include the most common knick knacks you'd find in a kitchen drawer.

Along these same lines is the topic of Coffee or Tea! Always make it easy for guests to have coffee in the morning. That's a minimum you can get at almost any hotel chain and should be included at your rental. Again we're aiming for the experience. When they have a great experience, they leave great reviews.

6. Have a friend stay the night or two in your space to let you know if you're missing anything. A second set of eyes to look over your space can be helpful but someone staying the night and letting you know what you may be missing is hugely valuable. This way you can catch anything you miss rather than risk a bad review just cause you overlooked something small.

7. Don't forget an extras basket! Have the essentials that get forgotten so they don't have to ask like a travel toothbrush, shampoo, etc.

Alternative: you could include all the go-to items in a separate storage room the guests have access to. Things like plungers, a few extra pillows, blankets, even dish soap, and toilet paper could also be stored there.

*Note, that I wouldn't leave huge amounts of consumables to guest access. This can sometimes lead to guests using multiples of something when they would have made do with one. *cough* like towels *cough*

There are a few tips to get you started. Am I missing something key? Let me know in the comments.

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